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Red River Navigation May Come to Area

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For years there has been talk of turning the Red River into a method of major waterway transportation. Currently the Red River has been expanded from the Mississippi River to Shreveport. Now expansion to Index Bridge on Hwy 71 north of Texarkana is under consideration, a move that would allow barges to travel into the area. A feasibility study has already been completed and according to the study the impacts of expansion would greatly benefit the region. The most important benefit is transportation savings both economically and environmentally. The river expansion project has also brought environmental enhancement to the southern portions, allowing the fish and waterfowl populations to increase and flourish. Recreation and tourism have also increased. All of this could also happen north of Shreveport and into Texarkana. There are 3 expansion concepts under discussion. A two locking dam system that would go to Fulton, Ark, a two locking dam system that would go to Garland City, Ark and a three locking system that would reach Index Bridge. With all the industries in the area that rely on heavily on transporting large amounts of products both import and export, navigation on the Red would help substantially. The estimated cost of the project is 1 billion dollars but tax payers need not worry about a tax increase. Half of the money would come from the Waterway Trust Fund and the other half would be appropriated by Congress.

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